Mitigating Influenza A (H1N1) At I-Cafés

ah1n1Now that more than five (500) hundred people had been found positive of influenza A (H1N1) in the country and that the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that the spread of the disease has reached pandemic level, mitigating (as contrasted against contact tracing) the effect of the highly contagious disease to a community is now the action being done by our government authorities.

Contact tracing which calls for identifying the persons who came in contact with a person found positive of the H1N1 virus will no longer be done. This is a welcome development for the Internet café industry because we agree that contact tracing is very hard to implement should a i-café customer gets ill of the disease. Using manual or digital logbook was proposed but such procedure is tedious and not practicable in the set-up of some i-cafés.

I wish to say that mitigating influenza A (H1N1) at i-cafés can be done and this campaign of our health authorities must be supported by all i-café owners. Maintaining cleanliness in the café premises especially the keyboards and pointing devices (mice) that the customers come directly in contact with must continue without fail. Soap and water, if not alcohol and disinfectants, must be available all the time.

If possible, clinical thermometers (mercury-type should do but electronic type is better) must be at hand to check customers’ body temperature randomly if not all. You would do yourself and your customers a great service if you would send home or to hospital anyone found to nursing fever when they enter your i-café. The danger of having this rapidly spreading contagious disease is still very much with us. It is said that the strain found on those already affected by the illness is mild and not life threatening but this should deter us from supporting the campaign to mitigate the spread of H1N1 virus.

Again, let us not be complacent with the fact that no one has yet caught the disease while he was inside a i-café. If and when only one among the many frequent café customers catch the dreaded disease in a café and it gets to the news, we could just speculate its negative impact on café business. Let us not wait for that to happen, do our part in mitigating the disease before it becomes a burden to your business and the community you are in.

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